Force-driven transport through periodic entropy barriers

N. Laachi, M. Kenward, E. Yariv, K. D. Dorfman

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We analyze the transport of a point-size Brownian particle under the influence of a constant and uniform force field through a slowly varying periodic channel whose cross-sectional area variations represent effective "entropy barriers." Using generalized Taylor-Aris dispersion (macrotransport) theory for spatially periodic media, we compute the mean velocity and effective diffusion coefficient (dispersivity) describing the long-time global transport of the particle. Systematic asymptotic perturbation analysis illuminates the transport process occurring in the strong-field limit, notably the role of the mean-squared channel roughness. The results thus obtained compare favorably with Brownian dynamics simulations over the full range of driving forces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50009
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007


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